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Book Recommendations

 

Same Kind of Different as Me and Fear of the Other: No Fear in Love
(see pgs. 22 and 21, respectively)

 

The challenge of acceptance of Multiculturalism is spiritually overwhelming for those marginalized – let’s get to know their stories as the community of faith. In the two suggested Book Resources, you are invited to be a receptive and an empathetic reader of these stories, opening yourself up to refection, self-evaluation, and planning for action within your church and society. Below is a discussion guide to participate in on your own, in a small group or the church. The Discussion can be designed as a study series addressing question(s) weekly or based on chapters covered from the book.

 

  1. What were the various ways persons that are different from the dominant culture are vulnerable?
  2. What common threads do you notice between the stories of those that are different -- multiculturalism?
  3. What feelings emerged for those persons?
  4. What roles do we play?
  5. Who has the power to shape the narrative about the nature of these relationships? How is power being used?
  6. How did people receive stories from those that are different? In what ways are they helpful?
  7. What was not helpful?
  8. What kind of threats do they live?
  9. What feelings did this book evoke in you? What insights did you gain?
  10. What is our responsibility for helping those in need?

 

America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America.
Wallis, Jim. Reprint ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2017.

 

America's problem with race has deep roots, with the country's foundation tied to the near extermination of one race of people and the enslavement of another. Racism is truly our nation's original sin. In America's Original Sin, Wallis offers a prophetic and deeply personal call to action in overcoming the racism so ingrained in American society. He speaks candidly to Christians—particularly white Christians—urging them to cross a new bridge toward racial justice and healing. "It's time we right this unacceptable wrong," says bestselling author and leading Christian activist Jim Wallis. Fifty years ago, Wallis was driven away from his faith by a white church that considered dealing with racism to be taboo. His participation in the civil rights movement brought him back when he discovered a faith that commands racial justice. Yet as recent tragedies confirm, we continue to suffer from the legacy of racism. The old patterns of white privilege are colliding with the changing demographics of a diverse nation. The church has been slow to respond, and Sunday morning is still the most segregated hour of the week.

 

Dear White Christians: for Those Still Longing for Racial Reconciliation.
Harvey, Jennifer. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2014.

 

In this provocative book Jennifer Harvey argues for a radical shift in how justice-committed white Christians think about race. She calls for moving away from the reconciliation paradigm that currently dominates interracial relations and embracing instead a reparations paradigm. Harvey presents an insightful historical analysis of the painful fissures that emerged among activist Christians toward the end of the Civil Rights movement, and she shows the necessity of bringing "white" racial identity into clear view in order to counter today's oppressive social structures. This book is for any who care about the gospel call to justice but feel stuck trying to get there, given the ongoing prevalence of deep racial divisions in the church and society at large.

 

Powerful read for those seeking to understand reconciliation and justice.  Review by Earnestine Campbell, Multiculturalism Taskforce.

 

Develop Intercultural Competence: How to Lead Cross-Racial and Cross-Cultural Churches.
Park, HiRho Y. Nashville: General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, 2000.

 

Park’s latest work identifies best practices and offers practical tips and case studies for leading diverse and vital congregations. The book shows readers how to navigate the growing complexities of race, ethnicity, culture, and religion and find appropriate and effective ways to make disciples of Jesus Christ in their context. Park offers innovative, evidence-based guidance to help leaders foster culturally intelligent faith communities and coaches them so they can drive innovation and champion a culture of call in their local communities. "Being a worldwide church means that United Methodists affirm our unity in Christ regarding missional and structural accountability, responsibility, and interdependence for the transformation of the world...Being a worldwide church is a prophetic declaration that United Methodists resist racism, sexism, and classism within institutional ideologies. But this also means that The UMC must be aware and attuned to the richness and challenges posed by cross-racial and cross-cultural contexts." from the Introduction.

 

Fear of the Other: No Fear in Love.

Willimon, William H. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2016.

 

In this no non-sense book, reliable spiritual guide, Will Willimon, invites readers to consider the gospel command to love (and not merely tolerate) those considered to be “Other” or outside mainstream Christian culture. Rooted in the faith of Israel and the Christian story and vision, Willimon brings a Wesleyan perspective to bear on what may be the hardest thing for people of faith to do: keeping and loving the "Other" as they are - without any need for them to become like us.

 

Important read for those interested in the history of race relations.  Review by Ashley Randall, Multiculturalism Taskforce.

 

LIFTING THE VEIL OVER EUROCENTRISM: The Du Boisian Hermeneutic of Double Consciousness
Evans, JosephPublished by Africa Research and Publications. 2014 

 

Evans gift here cultivates Lifting the Veil beyond even its own title. He extends a hermeneutic that unravels the veil of marginalization of black life the veil that blinds and binds black life under the distorted lens of inferiority that Eurocentric culture not only created, but relies upon still. Evans re-establishes a paradigm shift away from gazing to perceiving the construction and function of Pan-African double-consciousness. Evans clarifies how this lens is multi-focal through the intertextuality and signification of sacred rhetoric, song, and dance in the sociopolitical, psychosocial, and aesthetically black theo-ethic-centric meta-narratives for black life, biblical interpretation, and preaching itself.

 

The book is powerfully enlightening in understanding the double consciousness of those that function in dual lens. Review by Multiculturalism Task Force.

 

Multiculturalism: Examining the Politics of Recognition.

Taylor, Charles. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994.

 

This highly acclaimed book brings together an even wider range of leading philosophers and social scientists to probe the political controversy surrounding multiculturalism. Charles Taylor's initial inquiry, which considers whether the institutions of liberal democratic government make room—or should make room—for recognizing the worth of distinctive cultural traditions, remains the centerpiece of this discussion.

 

An excellent well-written discourse about politics and multiculturalism. Review by Earnestine Campbell.

 

One Body One Spirit: Principles of Successful Multiracial Churches.

Yancey, George A. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2003.

 

When the church began, an amazing diversity of people from different geographic, cultural and linguistic backgrounds gathered together to confess a common faith in Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul cast a vision of one body where Jew and Gentile would worship together in unity. The Revelation to John likewise foreshadows an eternal future where all nations will join together at the throne of the Lamb. As society diversifies, local churches find themselves interacting with people from every tribe and tongue.

 

Must read for churches that are looking for dynamic Leadership principles. Review by Earnestine Campbell, Multiculturalism Taskforce.

 

People of the Dream: Multiracial Congregations in the United States.

Emerson, Michael O. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006.)

 

It is sometimes said that the most segregated time of the week in the United States is Sunday morning. Even as workplaces and public institutions such as the military have become racially integrated, racial separation in Christian religious congregations is the norm. And yet some congregations remain stubbornly, racially mixed. People of the Dream is the most complete study of this phenomenon ever undertaken. It explores how do racially mixed congregations come together? How are they sustained? Who attends them, how did they get there, and what are their experiences?

 

Inspiring read for those seeking awareness about the racially mixed congregation. Review by Earnestine Campbell, Multiculturalism Taskforce.

 

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.

Alexander, Michelle. Revised ed. New York: The New Press, 2012.

 

Praised by Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier as "brave and bold," this book directly challenges the notion that the election of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that "we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it." By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control—relegating millions to a permanent second-class status—even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. In the words of Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, this book is a "call to action."

 

Amazing statistics and phenomenally relevant insights and perspectives on modern-day American’s racism. Review by Columbus Burns, Multiculturalism Taskforce.  

 

Same Kind of Different As Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together.

Hall, Ron, and Denver Moore. Reprint ed. Colorado Springs, CO: Thomas Nelson, 2008.

 

It is a tale told in two unique voices – Ron Hall & Denver Moore – weaving two completely different life experiences into one common journey where both men learn “whether we is rich or poor or something in between this earth ain’t no final restin’ place. So in a way, we is all homeless-just workin’ our way toward home.”

An Authentic and intimate look into the personal journey of two people as they come to a realization of each other’s humanity.  Review by Ashley Randall, Multiculturalism Taskforce.

 

Storytelling for Social Justice: Connecting Narrative and the Arts in Antiracist Teaching.

Bell, Lee Anne. New York: Taylor and Francis, 2010.

 

Through accessible language and candid discussions, Storytelling for Social Justice explores the stories we tell ourselves and each other about race and racism in our society through the language and images we encounter every day, providing strategies for developing a more critical understanding of how racism operates culturally and institutionally in our society. Using the arts and storytelling, the book examines ways to

teach and learn about race by creating counter-storytelling communities promoting more critical and thoughtful dialogue about racism and the remedies to dismantle it. Illustrated with examples drawn from high school classrooms, teacher education and K-12 professional development programs.

Artful storytelling about racism and culture in our society.  Review by Earnestine Campbell, Multiculturalism Taskforce.

 

Teaching Cross-Culturally: An Incarnational Model for Learning and Teaching.

Lingenfelter, Judith E. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing Group, 2011.

 

Teaching Cross-Culturally is a challenging consideration of what it means to be a Christian educator in a culture other than your own. Chapters include discussions about how to uncover cultural biases, how to address intelligence and learning styles, and teaching for biblical transformation. Teaching Cross-Culturally is ideal for the western-trained educator or missionary who plans to work in a non-western setting, as well as for those who teach in an increasingly multicultural North America.

Excellent read for those teaching and serving cross-culturally and those congregations accepting culturally different leaders. Review by Earnestine Campbell.

 

The Book of Resolutions of the United Methodist Church.

Nashville, Tennessee: United Methodist Publishing House, 2016.)

 

The Book of Resolutions provides models for applying an active faith to daily life in ways that can impact the world around us. The new Book of Resolutions contains all current social policies adopted by the General Conference of The United Methodist Church. Includes positions on more than 200 subjects, organized into seven sections: The Natural World, The Political Community, The Nurturing Community, The World Community, The Social Community, The Economic Community, Other Resolutions.

 

The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church.

Nashville, Tennessee: The United Methodist Publishing House, 2016.

 

"The church is a community of all true believers under the Lordship of Christ. It is the redeemed and redeeming fellowship in which the Word of God is preached by persons divinely called, and the sacraments are duly administered according to Christ's own appointment. Under the discipline of the Holy Spirit the church seeks to provide for the maintenance of worship, the education of believers, and the redemption of the world." - From the Preamble to the Constitution of The United Methodist Church. The product of over 200 years of General Conferences of the denominations that form The United Methodist Church, the Discipline is the current statement of how United Methodists agree to live together.

 

The Wolf Shall Dwell with the Lamb: a Spirituality for Leadership in a Multicultural Community.

Law, Eric H F. St. Louis, Mo.: Chalice Press, 1993.

 

This groundbreaking work explores how certain cultures consciously and unconsciously dominate in multicultural situations and what can be done about it.

 

Great concept of cultural dominance and its impact. Review by Earnestine Campbell, Multiculturalism Taskforce. 

 

Theorizing Multiculturalism: A Guide to the Current Debate.

Willet, Cynthia. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1994.

 

This wide-ranging anthology of classic and newly-commissioned essays brings together the major theories of multiculturalism from a multiplicity of philosophical perspectives.

 

Insightful and relevant perspectives of the dynamics of Multiculturalism. Review by Earnestine Campbell, Multiculturalism Taskforce.

 

What Color Is Your God?: Multicultural Education in the Church.

Breckenridge, James and Lillian. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing Group, 1995.

 

A dynamic look at multicultural America, this primer shows ministers and others how to honor ethnic differences and avoid pitfalls when presenting the gospel. Topics: Our multicultural challenge, conceptual framework of culture, communicating a theology of cultural awareness, coming to terms with multiculturalism, multiculturalism in the church setting, parameters of diversity, examining Hispanic-American culture, examining Native-American culture, examining Asian-American culture, selected Asian groups, examining African-American culture, and our multicultural opportunity.

 

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism.

DiAngelo, Robin (author), Michael Eric Dyson (Foreword). Boston: Beacon Press, 2018.

 

In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

 

White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide.

Anderson, Carol. New York: Bloomsbury, 2017.

 

From the Civil War to our combustible present, White Rage reframes our continuing conversation about race, chronicling the powerful forces opposed to black progress in America--now in paperback with a new afterword by the author, acclaimed historian Carol Anderson. As Ferguson, Missouri, erupted in August 2014, and media commentators across the ideological spectrum referred to the angry response of African Americans as “black rage,” historian Carol Anderson wrote a remarkable op-ed in The Washington Post suggesting that this was, instead, "white rage at work. With so much attention on the flames," she argued, "everyone had ignored the kindling."\

 

An in-depth account of the harrows of historical and contemporary America’s racism.  Review by Rev. Columbus Burns, Multiculturalism Taskforce.

 

Who Lynched Willie Earle?: Preaching to Confront Racism.
Willimon, William H. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2017

 

Pastors and leaders long to speak an effective biblical word into the contemporary social crisis of racial violence and black pain. They need a no-nonsense strategy rooted in actual ecclesial life, illuminated in this fine book by a trustworthy guide, Will Willimon, who uses the true story of pastor Hawley Lynn’s March of 1947 sermon, “Who Lynched Willie Earle?” as an opportunity to respond to the last lynching in Greenville, South Carolina and its implications for a more faithful proclamation of the Gospel today. 

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